The Best And Worst From Dodge: A Fire-Breathing Muscle Car And A Crappy Compact Sedan

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How can Dodge make these two products?

Some automakers may claim to have roots in performance cars, but few have the same muscle car heritage as Dodge. That said, the company is responsible for creating some questionable cars like the Dart. There aren't a lot of automakers that offer a 707-hp muscle car and a lackluster, 184-hp compact sedan in its lineup, but Dodge isn't like every automaker and does things a little differently.

Douglas Schaible / Dodge

When the Dart was introduced in 1960, it was positioned between a value-based model and a more luxurious version. Dodge brought the Dart name back for 2013 when the automaker decided to put fuel-efficient models on the road. Unfortunately, since the Dart's return, the compact sedan has been an absolute letdown, especially in the performance department. The Dart may be a compact sedan, but it's on the heavy side at roughly 3,200 lbs. To make matters worse, the Dart's base engine is a 2.0-liter inline-four that puts out 160 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque.

It may be a compact car, but the Dart makes a Mazda MX-5 Miata look like a supercar with a zero to 60 mph time of 9.2 seconds. With the Dart's horrendous driving characteristics, Car and Driver gave the car 1.5 stars out of five, while Edmunds rated the car at a C. For those that have been out of school for a while, a C is not a good grade. At the end of the spectrum lies the mighty Challenger Hellcat. Unlike the atrocious Dart, the true muscle car proves that Dodge still has what it takes to make a muscle car that encompasses America in the best way possible. There's nothing cuddly about this beast. Under the hood lies a monstrous 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that puts out 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque.

At a time when the world is worried about downsizing engines and fuel economy Dodge comes out with one of the most powerful muscle cars ever. Thanks to its incredible motor, the muscle car can get to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, which is amazing for a car that weighs over 4,000 lbs. With a proper stretch of road, the Challenger Hellcat can get to 199 mph and will surely leave you grinning like a child. We're huge fans of the muscle car and so are a lot of other outlets, as Car and Driver gave it four out of five stars, while Edmunds gave it a score of a B. At a time when muscle cars are evolving into high-performance sports cars, Dodge still knows how to make a good muscle car. It's just sad that the Dart and Challenger Hellcat share the same badge.


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